Dr. Helene R. McMurray, Ph.D., is currently head of the Bioinformatics Consulting and Education Service of the Edward G. Miner Library the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC), as well as holding the post of Assistant Professor of Biomedical Genetics at URMC.
Dr. McMurray is a cancer systems biologist with expertise in genetics, genomics, bioinformatics, biostatistics, and cell and molecular biology. She received her Bachelor of Science degree from Cornell University in 1998 and her Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Rochester, School of Medicine and Dentistry in 2004.
During her post-doctoral training with Dr. Hartmut "Hucky" Land, a leader of research into molecular mechanisms driving malignant cell transformation, Dr. McMurray identified critical gene regulatory architecture that distinguishes cancerous from non-cancerous cells (McMurray et al., Nature, 2008). Reliance on this architecture appears to be a general feature of cancer cells, as it plays a role in diverse types of cancer (Ashton et al., Cell Stem Cell, 2012). The genes involved not only represent a unique source of intervention targets, but their expression signature can also be accessed using chemical genomics to identify CRG-modulating agents with anti-cancer effects (Sampson, McMurray et al., Oncogene, 2013). Recently, Dr. McMurray's laboratory has discovered a cancer-specific role for such genes in the aggressive, hard-to-treat triple-negative sub-type of breast cancers, including identification of novel pharmacologic agents with anti-BLBC activity (Walters et al., in revision).